Feet in the Sand


Yesterday marked the middle of summer. How quickly the time is rushing by. If I had an hourglass of sand it would be draining down and I would be fighting the urge to turn it back over and begin again, making the sands last as long as possible before the dreaded days of Back to School are marching in with autumn winds.

We are playing and enjoying the summer beauty as much as we can. The children enjoy lazy afternoons at the pool and time with their cousins and friends. The dining room dinner table has been set aside for outdoor meals in the backyard by the grill and fire pit. The garden awards us with colorful produce for our evening meals.  John and I have had a wonderful time canoeing, biking, going for long walks, and even taking a long day at the Renaissance Faire going back into time and history to visit the Lords and Ladies of Queen Elizabeth’s day.

This last weekend, a most enjoyable evening was had cooking out with best friends and chatting over a crackling fire until wee into the night. It doesn’t get any better than this. May and June’s frightening storms have given way to blue skies and warm days and evenings. We are treasuring every day. Yet still it flies.

Yesterday, to mark the middle of summer, I scooped the children into the car and drove the 30 minutes to the State park where we can walk along the beach of Lake Michigan. The weather was a hot 90 degrees, not a cloud in the sky but the water was chilly and the waves felt like ice smacking at our feet as we walked along the rocky shore. That didn’t stop us from wading out into the frigid water and letting the white frothy waves lap at our legs. The children picked up interesting rocks and skipped them across the water’s edge. They competed to see who could skip rocks the best. They compete over everything. Even rocks. After a bit, one of them sat for a few minutes and dug around in the sand playing and I wished for all the days in my childhood that I had sand buckets and sand castles. We hadn’t brought one. Next time, I thought lazily. But then realized- It had been almost five years since the last time I had driven a whole 30 minutes to see the beach.

In five more years my son could be a sophomore in college, my daughter will be close to graduating High School. The time for sand castles and buckets will have passed us by. I had a sudden urge to dig my feet deep in the sand and not let go. Hang on to the icy lapping water of the shore line, fix my eyes on the horizon and stay there in that moment with them. I looked at both of them, completely unaware of my rushing emotions; they played with the water, the pebbles, and the sand, each other. I dug my feet farther into the wet sand and let the water rush over my cold toes. Freeze frame. Life is moving too fast. I didn’t want to let go of the moment.

I sighed.

I looked at the time. It was time to go. Deadlines and places to be and the next place on the day’s schedule were calling. But we had managed to carve out an hour or so of time in the sand that I know I will hang on to for a lifetime.


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24 thoughts on “Feet in the Sand

  1. A beautiful post as usual Miss Wendi! I am starting to miss those times with friends. I need my friends. I must make time to find a time to get together with them.

    Enjoy your moments with your children as they are growing up way too fast as it is!

  2. Wendi,

    Lovely story. I hope you go again, and sooner!

    My daughter and I skipped rocks until I had pitcher’s arm last week, when she said “let’s just stop” and I said, “why not?” Those moments will sustain her (I hope) more than learning to stick to a schedule too tightly or care too much about the rules.

    I like schedules and rules, goodness knows, but I LOVE breaking out of them. Good for the spirit.



  3. @Wendi

    My Mom says to take cherished moments such as these, and put them in your “Happy Compartment”

    So later on, whenever you’re blue and need cheering up, just open up your Happy Compartment, and re-live your day at the beach (or any other memories you might have stashed in there).

    Great post! 🙂

  4. @Friar,
    I like that idea, The “Happy Compartment” IT sounds nice. I keep a journal that I write down what we do each day. Just a few sendtances, but I can go back and see how we spent our summers, our whole year really. Its nice. Then when you say, “where did the time go?” I can tell you.

    First week in August We are going to spend a week at Lake Michigan on the MIchigan side with john’s family. I am REALLY looking forward to it. Golden days….

    Jenny, quit talking about it and let’s just DO it!! Geez woman!! Talkin’ ain’t doin! Get out your calendar and let’s plan somethin!

  5. Friar’s Mom sounds so cute. Cycling, fishing, Happy Compartments… Where can I get a Mom like that?

    Not that I don’t love my mother, she’s just… prickly. No Happy Compartments, LOL. She probably has a very large Grumpy Compartment, but I laugh just the same when she takes something out of it to share. I drive her batty with my ability to see the bright side.

  6. Kelly,

    Friar’s mom does sound cute. Wouldn’t you sound cute if your son was Friar? He would make you laugh all day long. My Mom has a lot of cute in her. But she has some of what you talk about too. Comes, I think, from working too hard her whole life long. But then again, my dad didn’t leave her much choice on that one. So I think she has earned some of it fair and square.

  7. @Wendi and Kelly

    Yeah, my Mom taught me to laugh and not take life seriously.

    She also likes to write, and she’s quite good at it. But she’s too stubborn and/or not interested enough to blog on her own.

    But she’s shown some interest as being a “Guest Blogger” on the Deep Friar. I might be posting a “Friar’s Mom” installment in the near future.

  8. @Friar

    Tell Friar Mom we eagerly await…and that we will be very good…:)

  9. These are the days I relish, and as the days grow shorter towards the fall, I can’t help but wonder how the people felt 5,000 years ago, with the coming of winter. Everything shutting down.

    Not necessarily a bad thing, just a time of change. Like the changes in life, exactly like that. Spring, summer, fall, and finally winter. No wonder some people believed in reincarnation and resurrection. Just like the seasons.

    Remembering that most of us are in our “summer” right now, and fall is approaching, makes it easy – makes it imperative – to enjoy the days like this. Before the winter sleep.

    Perhaps, then, the important thing to do is capture the summer moments, and the “summer” moments, so that we can remember them during our “fall” years. Not that the fall years are not good, mind you, but you can often do so much more in summer.

    Thanks for the words, Wendi.


  10. Brett,

    Have you ever read any of the Clan of the Cave Bear books? That is what I think about when I think about time that long ago. They spent most of their time preparing for the on-coming winter. Gathering and storing. We are blessed that we can spend our summer months enjoying the beauty.


    Can your Mom dance? hehehehe

  11. This was beautiful to read. My husband and I had a talk recently about how summer when you’re a kid is so totally amazing and you don’t even think of deadlines or “what’s next” or stress. And when you’re an adult, you have memories of feeling that free – but you have these “adult” voices in your head now. we were wondering how to completely abandon them and just be IN SUMMER.

  12. Christine,

    That’s a great point…a lot of the time we ARE just IN the summer, playing with the kids, laughing, having fun, and then its like WOOSH, I’m pulled out and one of two things has happened, the Mom persona has stepped in to oversee everything..are they comfortable? Do they need anything? What time is it? what’s next on the schedule?
    OR…I am suddenly just overwhelmed by the gratitude and perfection of it and how temporary it all is and I find my self to be an outside observer just watching and enjoying and looking at the sands of life go by instead of BEING in it. Weird..but it just happens to me.

  13. Wendi: Reading your post I could literally HEAR the water and waves we visited in my childhood and when I was a teen. I got really nostalgic reading this, and your sudden moment of realization of how time passes and wanting to dig your toes in the sand to hold on to the afternoon was priceless. I recognized the feeling.

    Brett: whoa, what a first comment. I actually felt a sudden panic when you mentioned our fall years and getting ready for the winter sleep. I had that toes digging in the sand moment. Suddenly, I don’t want to grow old. Not that you made it sound bad, on the contrary. Just that you made it so…inevitable. I already know this but usually accept it!

  14. @Steph,
    Thank you that is very nice feedback. The kids are growing up toooooo fast. And yes, I had the very same reaction to Brett’s comment.

    And just the other day, someone was talking about my grandaughter and when she was going to have kids. I was like WHOA…no talking about THAT… I’m not ready for Great-grandma Wendi!!!

  15. “I wonk’t want to grown old.” Oh, Wendi, growing older and neargin that “next” journey, is exciting. It is filled with lessons you do not have to re-learn! Perspectives that you never thought would exist in your mind. Memories spilling over in your heart of hearts. Adventures, new adventures every single day!
    Being one who tried to end her life’s journey early and failing. . . . Boy! I am most thankful that I failed in the attempt. There have been millions of moments that I would never give away or wish had not happened during the many years since that day.
    And, sitting in my youngest’s kitchen (daughter) and watching her prepare for a family celebration, a woman grown. . . beautiful, articulate, intellilgent, full of life and love. . .Talk about a moment! And, I can still see her at several stages in her life. Pictures in my mind’s camera that are so “adorable”. I waited and prayer (since I was 6 years old for a daughter) and God loaned her to me in my 36th year. Another moment. Another miracle!
    Wendi, life is to be lived to the fullest, every single moment of every single day. And growing old is a wonderful thing, in my opinion.
    Even if I am on my way to a doctor of a barriage of tests – ha! That is part of growing old as well.
    Hugs dear friend,
    Mistress O
    Hote Agatha

  16. Well, if you all can get through the darn typos. Sorry, that too, is growing older . . . your finger still do the walking, but the direction can be a bit challenging!
    Ms. O

  17. Hi Wendi,

    Yeah, time rushes on. I’m actually looking forward to winter if this nasty heat keeps up! I was thinking of going to Lake MI too when Carolyn and Mike get back from Traverse City.

    I love the Renaissance Faires! You must have some good ones in Chicago. We have the Silverleaf Faire here, which I’m looking forward too. That reminds me, I have a good story about that…

  18. I have a friend who says, “Measure your life in summers.” Everytime he sasys it I feel a little depressed because I’m not doing so well in that department.

    Yet, last Sunday, I had a day such as the one you’ve described. Me and the boys, sitting in the shade, reading books and gofing off like a bunch of puppies. Good times.

    Great post, Wendi!

  19. All this talk about the “Summer Years” of Life. How it’s the best time. How people have the thought of “Winter Years”, as we get older.

    Hogwash…you live each of Lifes’ Seasons as you get them, the best as you can.

    Sure, it’s great to be young and active, and have all your life in front of you.

    But it’s also great to be older and have established stronger friendships. You’re more confident, you’re more financially secure and you have more freedom to do what you want.

    Heck, I know seniors who are having a better time in their 70’s than lots of us who are in our 30-40’s.

    I don’t mind being where I am now, but I don’t dread getting older either. Chances are, it will be even BETTER.

    Winter. Summer. It’s all good.

  20. Friar,

    That is a great point..but aren’t you the same friar who brought us the Lotto Bat and other fine *Winter Folk* posts? Oh yeah, I can hardly wait to be a Lotto Bat and have John go buy some really fast car that we can drive realllll slow!! teehee..

    Seriously, I enjoy each day as it comes and am grateful for each one. If we’re breathing there is hope!

  21. @Wendi

    Well, just because we get old, dosen’t mean we have to ACT old. Lots of Winter Folk I know are sharp and clever, and they’re fun to be around.

    It’s just that the Lottery Bats and Gray-Head drivers…welll, they’re easier to poke fun of, and it makes for better Blog posts… 🙂

  22. How does that happen? Five years just disappear into nowhere, don’t they? I think it’s been about that long (or longer) since I’ve been the beach too. Time keeps on slipping… into the future 😉

  23. Melissa,
    That’s why we are building this community, to remind each other, to give each other support. Now get thee to the beach woman!

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